Key Things to Note When Conducting System Integration The process, where more than one business process or software are brought together for purposes of data sharing, is called integration. Owing to the proliferation of technology these days, there has been a constant need for organizations to manage many disparate systems and processes. Each of the various business systems produces its unique data and also consumes its unique set of data. More often than not, data which is output by one process is usually an input to another process and this relationship leads to interdependencies among business processes. Owing to this therefore, there is need to amalgamate business processes and systems through software integration. Integration plays a major role in streamlining business operations as well as in cost management of an organization. Any good integration model should adopt and adhere to the following important integration patterns and practices. First, integration models should adopt what is commonly known as continuous integration model or pattern. This pattern ensures that integration is ongoing even after the first integration is conducted. Once integration is adopted, new systems and processes should be able to be integrated to the integration solution adopted. Because of this, the company doesn’t have to purchase another integration solution in the future and is thus saved of this cost. Also, this model ensures that integration work that may arise in the future is autonomous and is independent of the development team and thus ensures that the established integration solution is not interfered with. Secondly, any integration model should lay a special emphasis on the subsystems in an organization. These subsystems is what forms the basic blocks of the integration work. For a good model, it is required that each subsystem is a standalone and can be tested as a standalone before it is added to the whole integrated system. This ensures that integration work is split into small manageable tasks and hence troubleshooting can also be conducted with ease.
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Thirdly, the process of system integration should follow closely the configuration control process. This process serves as the keymap for the integration players to follow. The process directs on the right software and hardware tools to be used during the integration process. This is the process that serves as the reference point for the creation of all the integration configurations and should thus be adopted and exercised carefully.
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Lastly, any integration process should adhere to the system specifications of the subsystems. System specifications are important in the sense that they serve as a user manual for integrating specific components. The specifications also define the component’s behavior in an integrated environment and its relationship with other components. The system specifications also outline important things like the data formats acceptable by the component, the expected inputs and outputs among many other things.